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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 17 October, 2017
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GamerCon fiasco: Convention Centre hits back after organisers blame venue

Thousands were queuing in the rain for hours on Saturday waiting to gain entry to the event.

gamercon Queues on Saturday morning for GamerCon.

THE CONVENTION CENTRE DUBLIN has issued a statement on problems at the GamerCon event on Saturday that saw thousands of people stuck in queues outside the venue.

Many ticket-holders gave up and decided to head home rather than spend a prolonged amount of time queueing. There were angry scenes on Saturday morning when the delays began, after the centre reached capacity.

Earlier today, the founder of the gaming event said the venue was to blame for part of the problem.

Referring to queuing problems inside the centre Ferdi Roberts said in a statement that the Convention Centre Dublin are responsible for “people management and public safety within their building”.

According to the statement:

GamerCon had 21,600 attendees through its doors over the course of this weekend. 11,000 on Saturday 18th and 10,600 on Sunday 19th.
We clearly had challenges with queuing on Saturday When I was informed of this I made the decision to offer a refund to attendees who were outside and did not wish to queue further. We communicated this offer in person at the event, via social media and via our phone app.
Having debriefed from Saturday, a number of important changes were instituted based on the day’s experience with the result that there were minimal delays in queues outside on Sunday, with most attendees experiencing between 30 and 45 minutes queuing into the venue which we feel is to be expected with an event of this scale.
There were also issues with queues within the building. This was not under GamerCon’s direct control – the Convention Centre Dublin are responsible for people management and public safety within their building. The Convention Centre Dublin were fully aware of the ticket sales and expected numbers of attendees as this was discussed in the months leading up to the event.

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In a statement released to Newstalk.com a spokesperson for the convention centre said:

Ticket sales for every event held at The CCD are managed by the event organisers, not by The CCD, who are contracted to provide the venue. The organisers of this event hired an event management company and a security company to run the event.
The number of tickets sold was based on an underestimate by the organiser of the amount of time people would remain at the event.  This meant that for much of Saturday the number of people wanting to enter the venue at the same time was too high.
The safety of visitors and staff is our absolute priority and for this reason, we restricted access to the building to ensure the numbers in the building never exceeded the maximum licensed capacity, which was advised to the organisers in advance. We understand GamerCon are offering refunds on tickets via their website (www.gamer-con.com).

TheJournal.ie contacted the Convention Centre Dublin several times today but was not sent a statement.

GamerCon says it will be “proactively dealing with all refund requests” and will be in contact with affected ticket-holders “individually over the next 5 working days”.

With reporting by Daragh Brophy. 

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